Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Looking Forward - Looking Back Series II

Dedicated to Crystal - I was strong but should have been stronger.

Okay, women are nuts, well, become nuts as we grow, read magazines, see actors/models on TV with those perfect bodies, perfect teeth, perfect highlights, perfect boyfriends/husbands, perfect lives. Everyone has issues. Everyone! Some of us try to hide them, but no one is perfect.

So looking back - my senior year in high school, my friend Crystal - did not have the "perfect" body. She was a normal girl, not fat, not skinny, just in the middle -- perfect. But she didn't think so. 

One day, waiting for her in her car, I opened the glove compartment and boxes - now I mean maybe ten, maybe twenty boxes of diet pills fell to the floor. I hurried, stuffing them back in before she knew I knew.

Crystal, all smiles, got into the car and off we went to the pizza hut. Scarfing down four pieces, she abruptly left our table, hurrying to the bathroom. Now I've always had a sort of sixth sense when it came to people - well I can read the writing on the wall. So I followed her - tiptoeing behind her.

And yes, my suspicions were confirmed - she was barfing in the bathroom. I hurried back to the table, acting as if I knew nothing. I watched my friend, poised, smiling, skipping back to the table, laughing with friends like she didn't just puke her guts out two seconds ago. She was nuts. We all get nuts sometime in our lives and that's when girlfriends are needed the most.

So - I let it be known - we were driving home, alone, and I opened the glove box. The pills tumbled out. Crystal freaked. She screamed at me, my friend. I shoved them all back in, but then I demanded to know what was up. She lied. Which infuriated me. We were friends! Why lie. But she was nuts.

So I confronted her. I told her I heard her puking the pizza. I knew what she was doing. I knew why she was thinning. She told me to F-off. To get out of her life. To mind my own business. I was crushed. 

She dropped me off at my house. Days passed without a phone call, without an apology. She owed me. But she was nuts! She needed me. 

I thought about what to do. Who could I tell? Her mother. Yes, I knew when Crystal worked - I knew her schedule well. I waited until she left, then I knocked on the door. Her mother answered. I went in. We sat at the kitchen table where I spilled the beans. As she listened. She started to cry. She said she knew something was wrong, but Crystal had denied it, even got angry with her.

I made her promise not to tell, but to help her without her knowing. That didn't work. Soon I got a phone call - the meanest from Crystal. She called me a fake friend, a liar, a bitch. She said I hated her. She said I was never there for her. I started to hate her back. This was my friend? But she was nuts! 

A year passed and Crystal balanced out. But I was still grumbling inside. My so called friend got the help she needed because of me, but nothing, not a I'm sorry, or you were right. I was owed that, right?!

Then three years passed by and the call came. I answered never guessing it would be her. I didn't even recognize her voice. She said she was just calling to see how I was, that she had ran into my mother and she had given her my number. Anger boiled. The things I had wanted to say years before came out. Crystal never did apologize. Now I was nuts.

A few more months passed, where I questioned myself. Then she called again. We agreed to meet for lunch. She apologized. I sat there amazed, happy, confused and sad. I wish this would have happened years ago. I wish she would have stepped up. I wish I would have been stronger. I wish I would have stepped up. 

We hugged. That was that. I wouldn't say we are friends now, but I would say we respect our past. That when we see each other we are friendly. And that's wonderful.

Lesson: Looking back I was right in getting help for my friend, but I was wrong in letting her anger anger me. I should have been stronger. She was nuts and I should have been able to see past that. 

 Today after struggling with relationships with women, I have many female friends. And some of them are nuts. They need a friend. But I am timid. Crystal's strong reaction to my help has scared me from helping others. But I can't be weak. When my friends are nuts, I need to be strong. I need to help them, even if that means they will hate me for a time - maybe for forever. Hopefully not. 

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